Jewelry Boutique Red Giraffe Designs Opens Saturday in Short North
A local jewelry business is growing and adding a storefront this Saturday. Red Giraffe Designs, a jewelry line and now boutique, is opening in the Short North. Owner Kate Stevens began making jewelry in 2009 and by 2013 had a full-time business and many retail partners in several states. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that she decided her own storefront would be the next step.
“While doing a lot of shows over the summer, I was constantly asked the question, ‘where is your shop?'” says Stevens. “That got me thinking this might be the next logical step for my business.”
Stevens casually looked for a space that would function both as a studio and a storefront. Her father-in-law discovered the small space in the Dakota building that had been serving as a reading room for Impero Coffee. At 360 square-feet, it was just the right size.
Stevens worked with contractor Jim Vohwinkel who built and installed a custom counter, workbench, and custom tables. She worked with her father to complete the front of the counter with recycled pallet wood and he also made many of the displays in the shop. The beautiful chandelier in the space was the work of Jeff Jablonka of Eclectic Electric.
“I’m hoping with opening this studio and storefront I can be more accessible to my customers and better serve my wholesale and consignment accounts as well,” she says. “I’m also looking forward to hosting private parties and events, as well as jewelry classes.”
Stevens believes the Red Giraffe Designs boutique will allow her to meet with customers to build on the custom design side of her business.
“I always love working with customers to create meaningful pieces for them,” Stevens says. “Last year I worked with a client on a necklace that commemorated the one-year anniversary of her friend’s death. It was really touching that she would choose me to make something so special and important for her so that will probably always be one of my favorite pieces that I have made.”
Stevens wasn’t always making jewelry. She studied at Ohio University and earned a degree in Retail Merchandising with minors in Fine Arts and Business/Sales. After college, she spent some time discovering what she wanted to do professionally.
“Luckily, my parents were very supportive and allowed me to live at home for a few years and figure it out,” she says. After trying designing t-shirts, then home décor and accessory items, Stevens was looking for something to hold her interest. It was when a friend showed her a fork bracelet bought during a trip to New York that she started thinking about jewelry.
“I thought it was the coolest thing so I went on YouTube and tried to learn how to make one for myself,” says Stevens. “I have never once grown bored with jewelry making. It is something I look forward to doing every day and that is when I knew I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
Stevens plans to continue to be present at events during the weekends. You can find her at most of the Moonlight Markets for 2015, as well as a few larger shows.
Red Giraffe Designs will carry a wide variety of handmade, vintage, and new jewelry. Stevens will also mix in other accessories and trinkets. An assortment of small vintage jewelry boxes will be available on opening day.
For Stevens, making jewelry has become a fulfilling way to make a living and the best moments for her have been anytime her jewelry makes someone smile.
“Hearing that a customer came to a craft show just because they heard Red Giraffe Designs was going to be there, or seeing someone wearing a piece of jewelry that I made years ago…it’s things like that that make me love what I do.”
Visit Red Giraffe Designs at 847 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215 beginning Saturday, April 4, 2015, from 11am-7pm. Sundays from 12-5pm, Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment, and the rest of the week 11am-7pm. For the opening, there will be new jewelry for sale and a few giveaways. For more information, visit RedGiraffeDesigns.com.